By Joseph Shulam
This Shabbat’s reading is the story of Noah and the flood. It is really hard to imagine an artist that is totally disappointed by his grand creation. After the death of Pablo Picasso there were thousands of paintings and drawings found in his basement. They were all original Picasso paintings and drawings. He never showed these works, they were not up to Picasso’s standard, but he did not destroy his works, he kept them and protected them but just didn’t show them. Now these same paintings are being sold for many thousands of dollars. Imagine how big the disappointment of the Creator of the World, the Father of mankind must have been to decide to almost totally destroy the work of His hands. The ONE and only God of the Universe, the God who is described as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”, made a decision that humanity is almost beyond repair and brought on the flood. Yes, the human race in the days of Noah is described in Genesis as: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7)
We must remember that there was no idolatry in that generation of Noah. Idolatry was introduced to the world only after the tower of Babel’s division of human beings into nations. The sins of the generation of Noah were moral, evil, and there was no redeemable factor in the majority of the human race. The evil was so big that God, the Father of all, the longsuffering and gracious Creator, decided to destroy man and just about start over. It is sad to read that the Creator said: “I am sorry that I have made them.”
Watching television in the United States in these days before the election and reading the story of Noah on the same week is so unsettling to me. May be it is also unsettling for you too? You don’t have to be a citizen of the United States of America to feel the importance of this election because whatever will happen in the United States of America will without a doubt influence the rest of the world. Watching what is going on in the USA is not something that I can say “that every intent of the thoughts of his [their] heart[s] was only evil continually.” However, without a doubt the choices that the people of the USA have to make are both tenuous at best.
So, my first prayer request is for the United States of America. Pray for this great country and pray the the mercy of God will overtake His justice and provide good leaders that will be a blessing for the USA and for the rest of the World.
The story of Noah actually raises another red flag that greatly concerns me. Here you have a man that is described as, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:8-9) God saves Noah and his family from destruction in the flood. Yes, soon after the flood we read: “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. . . And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.” ( Gen. 9:20-21, 24)
This story is a red flag for me and I suppose it ought to be for all of us who serve God. The danger is there for anyone, preacher, elder, Rabbi, or Doctor, to fall – fall even after receiving such a great blessing and so much grace and love from God. We all must be on watch constantly and make sure that after receiving God’s grace and gifts we don’t turn around and bring shame on ourselves and our families. There is no guarantee that if today we are men of God and servants of the Most High – tomorrow we could not fall. With said I must ask you all to pray for your leaders and for those men of God who are serving the Body of the Messiah, and also pray for me and for all the staff of Netivyah.
Pray for Israel! Israel is in constant need of God’s grace and the government of Israel is always hanging by a tread. There are forces that are in a constant tug-of-war in the government of Israel. On the one side are the Orthodox Jewish political parties and on the other side are the extreme right wing parties and outside the government is the political left that is essentially defunct and the Arab/Palestinian political parties. These are the internal reasons for you to pray for Israel. Another reason is that Israel is under attack on the international stage. Can you imagine that Unesco – the United Nations agency that is supposed to deal with humanitarian and educational issues on the international scale – passed a resolution that the Jewish Nation has not rights or claims on Jerusalem. By making this decision UNESCO has actually canceled the possibility that Yeshua ever existed and that Solomon ever built a temple in Jerusalem, and in fact that the Bible is true, because of Israel and the Jewish people have no relationship or rights on Jerusalem and never had – the whole Bible must be a false fabrication.
I really believe that Christians all around the World must pray for Israel to receive strength from ABOVE to stem the tide of aggressive lies and false accusations against Israel and the Jewish Nation. Prayer is actually the only force that we can use to bring change and sanity to the nations of this World and bring Christians around the World to stand with God and stand for His Word. When Christians will stand with God and HIS WORD – they will also stand with Israel and with the Jewish nation.
Pray for me and my family. It seems like almost every one in my family needs prayer for health reasons. Especially now Marcia and Barry and myself. Danah and Noaam also need your prayer for healing. For me, I have some pains on my side, and having to travel next week to Boise, Idaho, and Phoenix, Arizona, and Oklahoma City, and return to Nashville, your prayers and God’s grace will be sufficient for me.
Pray for the Netivyah and Roeh Israel staff! They are all wonderful servants of God but they too need your prayers. The spiritual challenges are enormous and the human resources are limited. As the Psalmist said long ago: ״Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.” (Psa. 94:17)
Keep the Hamotzi (Soup Kitchen) service that we provide to the poor of Jerusalem in your prayers. We are increasing the numbers of families that are receiving this service and my prayers are that this service will be of real help to the people of Jerusalem. We have no other interest than to help the poor people have food and hope for tomorrow and just a little more joy in life.
I ask you to pray for Netivyah’s vehicles. We purchased them 2013 and they are used for so many different services that Netivyah provides to the community. I fear that the time and need to replace them is approaching and we will need your help to make that possible.
Pray for Yuda and Reuven they are both doing the reserve duty in the I.D.F. They will soon finish that duty, but prayer is needed for their protection and safety.
Please keep praying for the sick brothers and sisters from all around the World. I would like to ask you to pray for some friends who have a need for God’s blessing on their work: Chung and Sister Lee. I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Kenzevic. I know that God is hearing our prayers, but I don’t know yet if our prayers are sufficient to bring the full blessing of the Lord of the Universe upon these brothers and sisters who are with special needs. Please keep a fervent prayer for the brothers listed above and for those who have health issues and need healing.
Please don’t forget to especial pray for healing and strength for our dear brother Tom from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also in the same town pray for Bobby, and Emet, and Joe, and Gloria D., these are all very precious brothers and friends are battling serious health issues.
Marica’s great nephew Drayton. He is 7 years old and has been discovered to have diabetic type 1 – for a young child this is especially difficult to cope. Please pray for Drayton and his family.
Continue to pray for Gary in Jerusalem, Aharon (Don and Nancy’s Son) is still struggling with a tumor in his brain keep him in your prayers please! Also keep his family in your prayers. Yuri Marianenko is fighting a prostate cancer. Our wonderful older brothers and sisters need our prayers: Ahuvah Ben Meir, David Stern, Marcia Shulam, Sarit, Miriam, Ilana, and Leah. This week I am adding to this prayer list our dear sister Lydia – lift her up in your prayers and ask for special encouragement for her from the Lord Himself.
We lift up our dear brothers and sisters Ruby, Clara, Paulo, Naomi, Tim Tucker, Anna, Anne-Mirijami, Satu-Maria, Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, and Evelina, Eva H., Liz in Georgia, and Horace and June Marcia’s parents.
We especially lift up before your throne of mercy Marcelo’s father and mother in Belo-Horizonte.
We pray for the following dear brothers and sisters: Pastor Curita in Tokyo, Toru San, and the husband of Yumi, Sadako San, Shoko San, Takeo Sensei and Tomoko San all in Japan.
May the Lord bless you from Zion and bless your coming and going in all things of His Kingdom! Please remember Genesis 1:1 – God created the Heavens and the Earth – this blue star called Earth has a Master that makes it run and bloom with beauty and loves His children ONE and All.